Healthy Meal Plan
With so many types of diet plans, priorities and choices it makes it nearly impossible to get everyone in the family around the same table with the same meal. There has to be a way to bring people back into one meal plan that satisfies everyone.
Food for Well-Being is designed to help a vegetarian and a meat-eater enjoy mealtime together. The plan also includes gluten sensitive eaters, lactose intolerant, calorie counters and people who don't diet at all. Even junk food junkies love Food for Well-Being meal starters.
Teré Foster, a light-eater, vegetarian from California, wrote a cookbook to help of her husband, Dale Foster, an athlete, meat-eater from the Mid-West who needed big meals to sustain his active lifestyle. This couple struggled for many years to find a way of eating that would meet both of their dietary needs.
Dale loved to cook, but included meat in every recipe. Teré didn't want to discourage him from cooking, but she didn't want to eat so much meat and heavy carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, pasta, and pizza. Dale wanted his family to eat dinner together, but didn't have any experience with whole foods. Teré wrote out a few recipes which inspired My Whole Foods Kitchen cookbook. It was written as a clear-cut plan with recipes and instructions for meals that are cooked entirely from whole foods. There was a plan for every day that would satisfy them both. With this plan in place, they have been able to enjoy their meals around the table every night of the week.
Here's how they make the Meal Plan work:
Teré cooks up a box of Food for Well-Being ahead of time including rice, beans. quinoa and lentils. At meal time Dale uses these whole foods as his "groceries" to make meals that fit into the Meal Plan. These whole foods are now cooked and ready whenever he gets the inspiration to cook. Dale believes in having dinner around the table every night while Teré is less formal about her meals. As the perfect compromise, Teré was willing to formalize her eating habits to include dinner at the table if Dale was willing to cook the foods that Tere wanted to eat.
The cookbook, Food for Well-Being includes many ideas that saved them money, lowered Dale's cholesterol, kept Teré's weight down, and kept their children happy to eat around the same table! Their "cheat day" on Saturday that gave the family something to look forward to and also gave them a day to be with friends and extended family without worrying about carbs, calories, sugar, salt, meat, dairy or gluten. But On Sunday they were right back on track with all of their personal diet priorities.
The name Food for Well-Being was used rather than "vegan" or "gluten free" because vegans are not always motivated by health, but by their concern and love for animals. Vegans might eat a lot of processed or fried foods and sweets while they absolutely shun all products made from animal sources. Food for Well-Being does not include meat and can be eaten by vegans, vegetarians and gluten free eaters because every meal is made from whole foods that spring from the ground naturally. Some members of the family may include dairy, eggs and fish or sweets on the weekend "cheat day" but no one judges or complains about the choices their loved ones make. This "cheat day" is an important part of the plan's long-term success as they are able to continue using this plan year after year without feeling deprived.
The problem with an "all or nothing" diet is that it doesn't work well with the human psyche. A conflict is created between the heart and the mind. The mind eventually snaps and the pendulum must swing back the other way. Once the diet is "broken" it seems impossible to get back on track. With a planned "cheat day" each member of the family has the option to cheat or not cheat, but the mind doesn't have as much leverage against the heart when it has options. But when the mind has no options it begins to kick and scream to be released from confinement. It doesn't mean the heart isn't a good heart, it simply means that the mind and heart are in conflict.
Over time, with more education and understanding, the mind gives in to the higher basis of decision-making that the heart wants to live by. Peace settles in and harmony works its magic in all the relationships around the table. But this can only happen when each individual is able to make choices without fear of judgement.
Because healthy cooking was a part of Teré's childhood, her instincts about cooking and planning meals are incredibly simple and powerfully packed with short cuts that make the process of cooking with whole foods easy and sustainable. She eliminates the need to buy foods at the grocery store and can live comfortably without those high-calorie, high-sodium, high-fructose corn syrup, high-cholesterol, processed foods that Americans fill their shopping carts full of. When you embark on Food for Well-Being centered around whole foods you will be stepping into a whole new world you didn't know existed. One that is not at all dependent upon a trip to the grocery store. Whole foods store well in a cool place for many years, so it is easy to have everything you need on hand simply by having a stock of Food for Well-Being.
Nutritionists and health coaches use this program with great enthusiasm as they see the wisdom of the little things that make this plan so unique and so "do-able" for the average family. "Knowing the facts about health and nutrition doesn't mean nutritionists actually know how to cook," Teré points out about formal nutritional educational programs. "Learning a subject in school and then implementing that subject into daily living are two different things. This plan gets right down to breakfast, lunch and dinner and even plans for what to do with the leftovers."
Teré continues, "Established nutritional educators seem to think a cooking class is not a worthy subject matter, so students often graduate as a Health Coach or a Nutritionist without a practical or teachable meal plan. They often rely on expensive nutritional supplements to meet their dietary needs rather than getting what they need from the foods they eat. This is understandable since cooking healthy meals was not part of their education. But our plan is based around inexpensive whole foods in pre-measured packages instead of expensive supplements that try to imitate the real thing. Teré protests, "This version of nutrition is just a variation of the pill-popping Western Medicine mentality. It's silly to me to take a pill of "turmeric" or "garlic" for example and not enjoy the incredible flavor that turmeric or garlic gives to your meal. The whole food found in nature is always superior to a pill."
Food for Well-Being from My Whole Foods Kitchen addresses every dietary hurdle with practical instruction how to live it out in daily life. Dale and Teré produced over 100 corresponding videos and continue to add more as they learn together how to bridge the gap across their dinner table. When they had children, they soon found that they would beg for things that were not good for them. They didn't want to play the role of the "food police" who had to say "no" to any and all junk food. So they created a "healthy cheat day" that the children could look forward to all week long. Instead of saying no to their requests, they would say yes, let's have that for "Saturday Sweets."